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Frontispiece: portrait of R. Browning, photogravure after the painting by R.B. Browning, now in Balliol commons, Oxford
"The unique collection of pamphlets, which Browning called the 'old yellow book,' now rests in Balliol college library, Oxford. This first reproduction of it has been made by the Columbia planograph company of Washington from photographic plates taken by the Clarendon press, Oxford."
The original, a volume with "soiled, worm-eaten 'crumpled vellum covers'" 7 3/4 x 10 x 1 inch, consists of 18 printed pamphlets to which are added in manuscript: a t.-p., a table of contents, a transcript of the Sentence of the Criminal court of Florence in the case against ... Francesca Pompilia Comparini, wife of Guido Franceschini, December 1698, and three letters bearing on the case telling of the execution of G. Franceschini. Of the 18 pamphlets, 16 are official documents (arguments and summaries of evidence, mostly in Latin) with imprint "Romae, typis R. Cam. apost. 1698" and two are unofficial anonymous pamphlets composed in Italian, presumably by the lawyers in the case. To the present edition are added a translation of a contemporaneous account of the execution of G. Franceschini as published in the Miscellanies of the Philobiblon soc., vol. XII (1868/9) and a translation of another manuscript account of the Franceschini murder, made from a transcript of the original in the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome